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Old Dec 24, 2008, 10:44 AM   #1
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i currently have the standard kit lens on my *ist DL.

i am quite happy with it.

are there any major differences between the old and the new kits lens?

is it worth it to get the newer kit lens?

or

should i upgrade my current kit lens to either the sigma 17-70 or the tamron 17-50?

thanks.
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 5:52 PM   #2
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First question to ask - are you upgrading your camera to a K20? If not, then I don't think you would see much difference (if any) between the old and the new kit lenses (from what I've read - I still have my old one). The lens is well matched with the 6 mp camera and I don't think that the new kit lens would offer you anything.

If you are going to be upgrading to the K20, then it might be an idea. The first thing I noticed when I got the K20 was that the pictures taken with the K100, K10 and K20 with the old kit lens all looked very similar. Then I took some pictures using the K100, K10 and K20 using the DA*50-135 and there was significantly more fine detail (not just a bigger image when viewed at 100%) with the K20 over the other two, while they were similar (K10 being mainly just bigger than the K100). That clued me in that the K20 could resolve more than the old kit lens was capable of, and started me thinking about upgrading to an f2.8 lens for that focal length (which I haven't done yet).

The Tamron 17-50 is an f2.8 lens, so is faster. That makes it easier to see the focus. My other half noticed that right off - he doesn't know much about photography, but enjoys taking pictures when we are traveling. When we were in Yellowstone he used the K100 and the DA*50-135 for a day, then said he wanted something wider. I put the kit lens on, and he immediately said the viewfinder was too dark and he didn't like it half as well - so he spent the rest of the week using the 50-135 exclusively.

The Sigma 17-70 is f2.8-f4.5, so it isn't a constant f2.8 like the Tamron is. That can be a disadvantage for some. On the other hand, it's a bit longer and that could be a big advantage.

For me the bottom line would be - why are you upgrading? You say you are happy with the old kit lens, so why change? The main reason I could see changing lenses would be to get one that was faster (Tamron or Pentax DA*16-50 or perhaps the Sigma, though you don't gain as much speed with it), or if you are upgrading to the K20 and want greater resolution than the old kit lens is capable of, and was getting one of those super deals that are floating around the internet right now. If I were staying with the DL, I'd be looking at either a wider lens or a longer lens, rather than replacing a lens I was happy with.
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 6:12 PM   #3
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my primary reason to switch from the kits lens would be to get a lens that is faster and longer for everyday use.

with that said, the sigma 17-70 seems like the obvious choice.

just to give you an idea of what i have in my bag:

pentax 18-55
pentax 50 f1.4
sigma 70-300


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Old Dec 24, 2008, 6:13 PM   #4
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i don't plan on upgrading to the k20 just yet.

i am currently still happuy with my *ist DL.

i would rather spend the money on better lens then a new body.
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 6:17 PM   #5
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One other option in the same area is the Sigma 18-50, which is an f/2.8. I bought the older, non-macro version of this lens as a replacement for my kit lens after it was stolen last summer, and I've been very pleased with it.

A couple of the shots I took with it at a recent wedding

Paul
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 6:17 PM   #6
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what is the main advantage of going with a faster lens?

i have been out of photography for some time and would like to get back into it.

thanks.

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Old Dec 24, 2008, 6:17 PM   #7
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 9:03 PM   #8
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Advantages of a faster lens:

- Ability to use a faster shutter speed in lower light (the lens opening is larger and allows more light in, so you can use faster shutter speeds (good for indoor sports).
- The larger lens opening means that there's more light coming through the lens - so you have more light hitting the viewfinder and its easier to see the focus. Good for all lenses, but especially useful if you use manual focus lenses.
- As the aperture gets larger (smaller f: number) the depth of field gets smaller, making it easier to separate a subject from it's background.

Disadvantages are:

- That small DOF can be a real pain under certain circumstances.
- The larger opening in the lens comes at a price - the lenses are usually larger and heavier, especially for zoom lenses.
- They have more glass to them (the larger opening), normally have better optics and so are more expensive.

I'm sure that others will pipe in with more reasons for and against buying fast lenses, but these are the ones I can think about while watching the movie "White Christmas" on Christmas Eve.
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